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Environmental Reporting

Man watering crops

WBUR is in a unique position to address one of the most important issues of our time—the environment. The public needs a trusted voice to explore, report on and explain this essential topic. The need is real and urgent.

Changes to our climate and the natural world pose serious threats to our communities, our health and our planet—yet there is a lack of environmental coverage in local and national news outlets. Just a few years ago, only 1.2 percent of news headlines in the U.S. addressed environmental topics. This deficit in our media diet has left us poorly informed about the planet that we inhabit. To meet this major challenge, WBUR has built a multimedia, multiplatform reporting team to provide serious, in-depth and compelling environmental coverage.


We want to do more and there is an almost infinite number of essential stories to tell about the changing environment.

Thanks to the generous support of our community so far, we have created a team that includes at least three dedicated full-time journalists. They have already begun their work on reporting the critical issues, including: the impact of climate change, public policy, resilience, conservation, animal life and the natural world, clean air and water, ocean protection, energy and fuel sources, public health, sustainability and impacts on business and the economy.

Our environmental journalists are based in Boston and report on the environment in Massachusetts for Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Radio Boston. Simultaneously, we use our national platform – notably On Point and our widely syndicated news program Here & Now produced in conjunction with NPR – to report to the nation on climate change and related issues. We develop content and reporting partnerships to inform and deliver our coverage, and we use CitySpace, our new convening space, to reach our audiences in person.

Through our coverage, we intend to achieve the following goals:

  • Ensure that our environmental journalism is accessible and relevant to a general audience.
  • Explore the intersection of the environment and other critical issues to demonstrate that the environment cannot be considered in isolation.
  • Make our reports more valuable by reporting not just on the issues, but on practical solutions.
  • Make our content visible on all platforms by producing consistently excellent on-air reports, online features and events that connect the public with leaders in environmental science and public policy.
  • Read the 2020 Earthwhile donor impact report to see what the team has been up to so far


We seek to raise $6 million to launch and sustain this reporting unit: $3 million to establish the team, and $3 million to endow its work going forward.

The overall success of our environmental initiative will be reflected in a public that is better informed—and which, as a result, considers WBUR to be an invaluable resource for insightful environmental journalism. WBUR’s environmental reporting initiative will create groundbreaking reporting and discoveries on humankind’s greatest challenges. Our commitment is for now and for future generations as we work to inform the public and create widespread awareness about the critical environmental issues that we face.